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Lady Gaga and the pop music industry


Levis
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I haven’t really suffered too much under the Gaga media barrage partly due to not living in America and partly because I make frequent use of the skip/off/mute buttons when exposed to things that I find particularly grating.

I don't think her music is grating at all - they are genuinely well crafted pop songs. I would argue that a lot of teeny/tweeny-boppers are making the grating music. Justin Bieber - in my opinion - BAD POP SONGS. Bad image, bad, bad, poorly done, leeching off someone else (Usher, Ludacris, whoever) - but a study in popular culture, nonetheless (his use of Twitter to exponentially grow his fan base?).

Anyway, it is precisely BECAUSE I'm not exposed to her music that I don't turn it off when a song of hers plays. It's not even guilty-pleasure cheesy pop - they're just well crafted pop songs.

And the videos are great, I think the Paparazzi video pretty much sums up the entirety of what she - and pop music - are about.

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I don't think her music is grating at all - they are genuinely well crafted pop songs. I would argue that a lot of teeny/tweeny-boppers are making the grating music. Justin Bieber - in my opinion - BAD POP SONGS. Bad image, bad, bad, poorly done, leeching off someone else (Usher, Ludacris, whoever) - but a study in popular culture, nonetheless (his use of Twitter to exponentially grow his fan base?).

I was actually referring generally to the music of most of the publicly over-exposed and musically under-developed "superstars" of today (Bieber, Swift, Cyrus etc.) that are shoved down the masses throats (which I believe is clearly in violation of the Geneva Protocol; Subsection B, Paragraph six governing the use of auditory irritants against civilian populations).

As for Lady Gaga, I don't mind one or two of her songs, but most just don't really do it for me. Whether or not they're well-crafted or "good" is still more or less an opinion, a matter of taste.

In the world of theatrical synth-pop I would take Goldfrapp, La Roux, Electric Youth, Little Boots, Robyn, Lykke Li or Lily Allen well before Lady Gaga.

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This is just pop music...And I'd never put Alice Cooper (or Peter Gabriel)in with Lady Gaga...My girls just happen to like her (not me)so...it's just pop music...I do sort of understand that...10 or 20 years from now people will still remember Alice Cooper,Genesis,Peter Gabriel and lots of other bands...let her have her 15 minutes of fame,and enjoy the $$$

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And he was not a very good author. However he was a great musician. Thus, a great artist. So I guess by the same argument, Lady Gaga is also a great artist, just by a different right.

This is what I've been trying to say, though I guess wasn't doing it very clearly. Glad we have come to an agreement.

I guess I'm not exactly offering a counter-argument so much as I'm stating that Lady Gaga is nothing new and revolutionary. She's different, sure, I just get sick of everyone talking about incredibly revolutionary she is. She's not. But then again, 'tis merely my own opinion.

Oh yeah, I definitely agree there. Lady Gaga is not a revolutionary artist by any means (but then again, very few people are, in the realm of pop and rock). I would say, however, that she is at least doing something different than all the other celebrities out there. It's like I've been saying, how many other celebrities of her stature in the entertainment industry over the past 10 years can say they are only famous for their art and not for their personalities? Not a whole lot. She's part of the whole movement these days where the cool kids are the ones who are into art. It's like the beat generation all over again, although I feel like it's even more mainstream now. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate though

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So Lady Gaga - you can't ignore her, you can't pretend not to see her, you cannot avoid her. What do you make of her?

I can ignore her quite easily, actually. I just don't listen to terrestrial radio. It's a great way to cut out the middle man and listen to only what you want, when you want -- with no annoying DJs, commercials and songs/music you don't like. I thank my lucky stars I got XM.

Now what do I make of her? My sister listens to her and when I'm stuck in the car with her, obviously the driver controls the radio so I'm kind of at her mercy. That song Telephone isn't too bad and Paparazzi is palatable, but the rest -- no thanks. Musically, she's not my cup of tea. I'd rather listen to Goldfrapp or Roisin Murphy if I'm in the mood for something more contemporary.

To me, it's silly talk to say you can't not like someone. There's a lot of music I love that I know a few people here aren't too keen on, but I don't see anything wrong with that. You like what you like and you don't like what you don't like.

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Whether songs blow or not is a purely subjective matter. Recently, you reiterated your opinion that F.R David's "Words" is the best song of all time. Meanwhile, in my world, the aforementioned song blows like a hurricane of stale farts. Subjectivity: the enemy of cultural debate.

Outside of laws of physics, mathematical and chemical equations, proven biological and natural events, etc., everything else is purely subjective. Everyone bases their options on whether to care to listen and buy on what they think of the product. In this case, the product is deemed to be godawful, deficient, and subpar. So, what's your point?

Her performances are derivative? This may be true: as an avoider of Music TV, I haven't seen any of them. At least try to be informative, rather than glibly dismissive.

It is true. Other artists, singers, musicians, and performers have done the same thing, only better. It isn't my fault you are unaware of this, but for your own amusement check out, say, Kylie Minogue's music video for "Can't Get You Outta My Head" or videos starring Missy Elliot for choreography mixed with outrageous costumes. Half-baked auto-tuned pop songs + outrageous costumes = yawn. The only work to admire there may be the directors', or the videographers', or the designers' (costumes and sets), or the choreographers' - and probably the marketers of this tripe (perhaps it can all be admired when they get everything to look and sound right. But, then, this would be tantamount to admiring the craft work rather than the idea and design (i.e., admiring the painters of a house rather than admiring the architect's concepts).

Of what/whom are they derivative? Consider also, that derivative features may be the result of deliberate pastiche.

Oh, we can bet this is deliberate since the pop conscience has no memory to speak of. Hence, the old can be regurgitated without much protest.

Her performances are boring? Again: subjective. Arguably, the public must find "the performance" aspect of her act quite compelling, if her music is as gusty as you suggest.

The public is the last metric I'd use to gauge anything remotely good and interesting. The public made The Spice Girls and "The Ketchup Song" international hits. The public has s***ty taste and can suck it; they're retarded. The only time I'd use the public to prove anything is when I know I am wrong in my assessment. I could say, for example, F.R. David's "Words" sold a million records back in 1982 and this made it one of the iconic songs of the Italo Disco sub-genre.

Marketing hype might compensate for a lack of performing talent; it wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Oh, hang on; it happens all the time. A lot. But are you arguing there is a deficit of talent, or a complete absence thereof? In most cases, the genuinely talentless are found out sooner or later. So, I guess, "We will see".

Marketing hype does compensate for what really amounts to a ho-hum product. I think there is a lot of talent there - very good talent. Again, the talent I'd be referring to is not gagga's, but the directors, the designers, the choreographers and dancers, the sound engineers, the marketers. Or else, how could such slop pass the muster for this long without being found out? McDonald's did not become the top purveyor of hamburgers in the world on the hamburger, but on the talent it took to sell this junk to the public. Nobody here could really say those hamburgers are great, not even by objective diet standards is this to be considered good, nutritious food in the first place (and one would refer to this as "food" in the most loose sense of the word). The same applies to gaga in terms of song and music :beatnik:

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Even though I know from previous comments that you're not a fan of "Lady Gag" (sic), I guess I expected a more constructive contribution to the discussion than "her songs and performances are crap". The Topic does not simply seek to establish "Who likes / Who doesn't like", but to stimulate a discussion of the Lady Gaga phenomenon, and its relationship to contemporary pop culture. You're quite a clever dude, and capable of a critique of popular culture. My point was not to challenge the validity of your opinion, but to encourage you to substantiate it in a way which would make it a more relevant contribution to the issue at hand.

Re her derivative performances:

It is true. Other artists, singers, musicians, and performers have done the same thing, only better. It isn't my fault you are unaware of this, but for your own amusement check out, say, Kylie Minogue's music video for "Can't Get You Outta My Head" or videos starring Missy Elliot for choreography mixed with outrageous costumes. Half-baked auto-tuned pop songs + outrageous costumes = yawn.

Thanks. I was genuinely interested to know of whom her performances were derivative. I'm already familiar with the vid for "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" (another classic pop single by a pop culture phenomenon), but not the Missy Elliot stuff. I've never liked mass choreography, however ambitious in scope, and am only marginally impressed by "costume", so there's not much to be gained (for me) in exploring this any further. However, I still can't help suspecting that "Half-baked auto-tuned pop songs + outrageous costumes = yawn" might coincide with Lady Gaga's point, as a target for satire.

Oh, we can bet this is deliberate since the pop conscience has no memory to speak of. Hence, the old can be regurgitated without much protest.
As semi-legendary UK indie-rockers Pop Will Eat Itself predicted, "pop will eat itself". In a post-modern, post-ironic, knowingly trans-referential age, it can be a bugger to distinguish the witlessly imitative from the knowingly plagiaristic and the wilfully parodic. The difference may be as indiscernible as a slightly raised eyebrow.

Re her boring performances and my contention that the public must find "the performance" aspect of her act quite compelling, if her music is as blowy as you suggested:

The public is the last metric I'd use to gauge anything remotely good and interesting. The public made The Spice Girls and "The Ketchup Song" international hits. The public has s***ty taste and can suck it

I agree, up to a point; I have been known to venture a similar opinion myself. The public never ceases to disappoint me with its appalling choices regarding music and culture. I stop short of describing the public as "retarded" (as you did) only because, as the father of a child with a learning disability, it's not an adjective I particularly favour.

However, we, the moronic masses, tend to be mistrustful of the "avant-garde", of stuff we find difficult to assimilate. Whilst we are attracted to "enigma", we customarily expect the achievement of "stardom" to come first. Enigma alone has not usually been enough to establish a household name, without something more solid upon which to hang it. Notably, interest in Lady Gaga appears to have gone beyond "critical mass", beyond the realms of everyday youth-orientated pop, drawing people and audiences who normally hold no truck with trivial pop music into consumption of and commentary on her phenomenon. Why is that?

Marketing hype does compensate for what really amounts to a ho-hum product. I think there is a lot of talent there - very good talent. Again, the talent I'd be referring to is not gagga's, but the directors, the designers, the choreographers and dancers, the sound engineers, the marketers. Or else, how could such slop pass the muster for this long without being found out? McDonald's did not become the top purveyor of hamburgers in the world on the hamburger, but on the talent it took to sell this junk to the public.

You may be right. Coincidentally, I have used the McDs analogy in a similar way. It is beyond doubt that the public will consume any old junk, if the campaign is effective enough. However; we may be moronic, but we are also fickle. The business of peddling pop music is different from that of fast-food, in that pop culture emphasises continuous change, youth and zeitgeist. If Lady Gaga should fail to cut the mustard with the youth audience, she will be off the menu before you can say, "Roma-roma-mamaa! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!" ;)

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I was talking about Lady Gaga with my dad the other day and he brought up an interesting point. He figures that, unless she is really good, she'll fade away in five years. He was saying that the reason Madonna ended up becoming an icon was because she was always pushing the envelope, like with her "Like A Prayer" music video and stuff like that. And because she kept pushing the envelope, it became a big deal whenever an album or a music video of hers came out. And unless Lady Gaga can do the same, she'll fade away. Five-ten years from now, we'll be saying "Man, remember that Lady Gaga? Man, she was crazy. Not as crazy as [insert next crazy-dressing pop artist here] though."

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